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Outrage against Theresa May’s appointment grows


5:50 pm - May 14th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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A potentially fractious split has already opened up between Conservatives and Libdems over the issue of equality.

Outrage has been growing online over the appointment of Theresa May as the minister of equality despite her voting record.

poster created by: @RoryDoona

A Facebook group against Theresa May’s appointment has attracted over 32,000 people in less than 48 hours.

An online petition has also been launched, this states:

Her appointment is symbolically counter-productive as it suggests that there is not a more appropriate person for the job who has been positively campaigning for gay rights. We would also question her commitment to implementing effective change in this country considering her own views. Her appointment is therefore both intrinsically and instrumentally unacceptable.

The issue of equality and diversity has already cropped up as a contentious issue between Libdems and Conservatives.

Libdem MP Lynne Featherstone told Radio 4 today that neither party was doing enough to promote equality at the top:

When you look at the negotiating teams, they were male and pale.

So the issue is how do you get women through the ranks of parliament to those positions where they are then in a position to be in the cabinet?

She said she was “very disappointed”.

Therese May is her senior in government. She has yet to say anything on the matter however.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Good girl, sensible voting record.

Yeah, it’s bad. But at least Lynne is there to try and act as a counterbalance.

Or do you believe in just trying to twat your opponents over the head until they give up, as opposed to ever talking to them?

Is there going to be anything remotely positive said about the Coalition government from LIBERAL Conspiracy, or are you just going to be like Mehdi Hasan and Melanie Philips from QT last night? Strange bedfellows…

Polls show 60% of the public approve of the coalition. Are you going to report that? 87% of Tory voters, 69% of Lib Dem voters, and 25% of Labour voters. So much for “sell out” and “betrayal” – maybe people are just glad to be rid of fucking Labour and don’t want to be told by a loudmouth like Hasan that everything is fucked until Labour comes back.

I think now that the election is over, Labour supporters and others who believe the Lib Dems “sold out” can’t just move on and do something other than politics with their time. Hence all these “campaigns” expressing “growing outrage”.

Lesson 1: Labour lost.
Lesson 2: blogging and tweeting didn’t help Labour and it won’t help them get back in.
Lesson 3: “a period of silence on your part would be welcome”
Lesson 4: rather than talk about Labour’s electoral strategy 5 years away from the next election, how about some kind of analysis of where they went wrong in 13 years?

Can you tell me how many of those votes were 3 line whips, 1 line whips, or the favourite Labour tactic of hiding controversial clauses within large bills?

Excuse me but did you know 3/4 of this cabinet voted against repealing Section 28 and changing the Age of Consent?

Or had you all really started to believe that William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith, Liam Fox, Owen Paterson and David Cameron himself all boasted impressive CVs on LGBT rights and abortion?

…I thought Liberal Conspiracy thought we shouldn’t vilify the LibDems for entering the coalition?… what’s going on?

[@blanco:
have you been blinking? Liberal Conspiracy has been extremely soft so far.]

Here is Theresa’s May voting record.

http://tinyurl.com/253hfv7

You will recall that most of those votes took place when Hague and IDS were leaders of an unreconstructed Conservative party, which heavily whipped all such votes.

Come on now can’t you see it is T & T first attempt at a political joke together?

http://redrag1.blogspot.com/2010/05/red-rag-twat-and-twatters-first-attempt.html

@6 Incorrect. Take off those blinkers.

In 2002-03, when Section 28 was finally binned, the party was allowed a free vote by Iain Duncan Smith (see here).

Even so, Theresa May (and David Cameron) was amongst the 71 Tory MPs who voted in favour of Section 28.

23 Tories had the guts to vote against, including John Bercow.
Theresa May wasn’t amonsgt them and neither was Mr Blue Skies

“Outrage has been growing online over the appointment of Theresa May as the minister of equality despite her voting record.”

OMG!

Conservative has different definition of “equality” from left liberal.

Film at 11!

Umm, this is actually the point of having different political parties you know? So that peeps get the chance to vote for different definitions and different actions on particular points.

10. Nick Cohen is a Tory

Conservative has different definition of “equality” from left liberal.

Good point, Blanco over to you.

Blanco
Four points
1. Personally, although a Labour voter I think it was the sensible move by the lib dems. In some ways I was relieved that the lib dems were in the government. Although I getting a little concerned that any lib dem idea are only on the back burner
2 I think the polls probably reflect relief that the whole process has finished.
see in 6 months time after the honey moon period
3. People have the right to critisise. The idea that the only opponents of the colition are extreme right and left is silly. Stop been so super sensitive
4. 55% is gerrymandering, the scottish assembly 55% was added before the Scottish election not after to adjust to the numbers. Be honest on that one

People have the right to criticise – but I just think right now Labour needs to STFU and think about why the public rejected them, and what they stand for.

Already you have Liam Byrne, Ed Balls, Jack Straw, and John Denham offering their views on why Labour lost – ignoring the wider question of why they should have won in the first place – and it basically boils down to “we weren’t tough-sounding enough on immigration.”

I think a period of silence, reflection, patience, and soul-searching would do Labour, its supporters, and members a whole world of good.

But all we’re getting is cries of “betrayal!” and “I didnt vote Lib Dem to get Tory!” (they should’ve voted Labour if that’s the party they want in power)

Hold your horses – buck up, suck up and come back when you foul up.

As to the 55% thing, all I will say is that it looks bad. But it’s giving parliament a power it’s never had before – to dissolve the government – a power previously held only by the PM and the Queen. I don’t care what the process is for how it was arrived at – it is a good thing, a good policy. That’s what matters. And it should be even higher at 66%.

13. political_animal

#11 The reason Labour lost is down to one reason and one reason only, the public didn’t like Gordon Brown.

“The reason Labour lost is down to one reason and one reason only, the public didn’t like Gordon Brown.”

I guess it’s progress that you at least acknowledge you lost.

But there are deeper reasons for Labour losing than just Brown. That is the kind of twisted, demented thinking that justified ID cards, and locking up child immigrants. People were fed up with Labour’s bad economic policies. They wanted a change. They didn’t all think the Tories were the best option. But their views on the way forward were split. But a majority did not vote for Labour.

15. political_animal

Maybe the majority didn’t vote Labour but there were a hell of a lot of people that DID vote Labour, especially considering the dissatisfaction and clamour for “change” that apparently existed in the country. Why didn’t Cameron get a massive landslide? Why didn’t Clegg follow up his poll ratings after the debates with a strong performance in the election? (he got a paltry 1% increase in votes) Could it be that the publci weren’t actually as anti-Labour as the media like to portay it?

16. Yurrzem!

Given New Labour had 13 years in which to liberalise the laws being complained about here I’m happy to give Ms May a chance. Its what she does now, rather than what she did, that I will judge her by.

I’d like to see a sign that any future Labour administration won’t be just more of the same before I endorse any of this oh-so-easy opposition posturing.

@16

Being opposed to the coalition does not make you an immediate Labour apologist.

May is quite clearly a homophobe and it makes no sense to have her as the minister for equality.

Some of the few good things Labour did was with regard to LGBT rights (tho’ in my opinion should’ve gone further) up against HUGE opposition and/or disinterest – but they did it.

What I don’t quite get is why so many commentators on LibCon are in favour or at least apathetic towards what is a dangerous government with dangerous people in top jobs.

We’ve had a succession of home secretaries who were vile and odious authoritarians who leaped to impose every nasty piece of legislation they could possibly think of. We’ve had every basic right trampled on. Labour made an absolute mockery of equality, decency and fairness. The Labour party’s supporters need to take a very very long look at themselves before they start on anyone else.

Do you think you’re in favour of equality because the wedding party you bombed included men and women? Do you think you’re progressive you made as much use as you possibly could of the most modern technology to watch every aspect of our lives? Labour did sod all for LGBT rights and don’t you blasted well forget it.

@18

For the last time (hopefully, probably not):Being opposed to the coalition does not make you an immediate Labour apologist.

But if you reckon that civil partnerships, equalisation of the age of consent, abolishment of section 28 and reforming the adoption laws to allow lesbian couple to adopt (amonst other things) is doing “sod all for LGBT rights” then you are very much mistaken.

You think the Tories would’ve allowed any of that? As May’s record (and Graylings comments and Stroud’s (erm) “beliefs”) shows, very clearly they are a homophobic party at heart.

YES Labour have more to do. So it’s up to fellow-travellers to put pressure on them, for whatever shape the LP takes from here.

20. Yurrzem!

@18 Mr S Pill

All I did was point out that New Labour had a far from brilliant record in this area and that I was prepared to judge Ms May on what she does next.

You suggest New Labour’s efforts were stymied by huge opposition and disinterest. Given the size of their parliamentary majority much of this must have been internal.

@18
I can only assume you were too young during the Tory administration to remember their appalling record on LGBT rights.
Either that, or you have a very short memory.

But I guess there’s Lynn Featherstone as junior minister at the Home Office now, so everything is gonna be alright, yeah?

According to the post, Theresa May voted against repealing Section 28.

The reality is she was absent for the vote:

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/mp.php?mpn=Theresa_May&mpc=Maidenhead&house=commons&dmp=826&display=allvotes
http://www.christian.org.uk/issues/archive_html/loose_pages/section28100303ayes.htm

So was David Cameron, despite the false post by Claude above.

Notable Tories to vote to keep S28 were:

David Davis
Ian Duncan Smith
William Hague
Michael Howard

Some Tories voting to repeal S28 were:

Boris Johnson
Alan Duncan
George Osborne

http://www.publicwhip.org.uk/division.php?date=2003-03-10&number=109&house=commons

You should correct your false poster.

Mike @ 22 – why were Theresa May and David Cameron absent for the vote regarding repealing Section 28?

24. Dick the Prick

Top lass – good luck to her. To be fair though – she really hasn’t got to do anything to be better than the shower of contemptable shite we’ve had for 13 years. Go Tessa

In a wibbley-wobbley world of his own – Peter Hitchens called May the queen of PC yesterday!

26. Flowerpower

Since y’all feel so strongly on this issue, I trust you’ll be rooting for one of the female/gay/BME candidates tipped as strong runners for the Labour leadership.

27. Ray Crossman

Theresa may doesn’t really go far enough. She should be enlightening us to equality rights for Christians who are being persecuted under the lastest Equality Act 2010. The “death of morality” is the Equality bill. It will not be soon that pedeophiles are legal if we take the logic behing “equality”.

It only goes to show what politicians will do to stay in power. They’ll sell their prnciples down the Swannee !

29. Nathaniel Adam Tobias Coleman

Theresa May remains unfit for the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.

Ian Tucker criticises the Facebook petition that continues to call for Theresa May to be removed from the role of Minister for Women and Equalities. (Cf. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/may/23/theresa-may-gay-rights-facebook) He claims that “its reaction perhaps helps illustrate how you often get little respect for changing your mind”. On the contrary, there are three reasons why this petition quite rightly continues, in spite of her professed change of mind.

First, she changed her mind on gay adoption, and her professed reasons for doing so had nothing to do with a belief in equal gay rights. They had to do with the welfare of children in care. (Cf. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=peAmygbh7CQ) Why should this particular change of mind, for this particular reason, give us any cause to think that Theresa May now believes in equal gay rights?

Second, while I welcome the fact that, in 2004, she voted freely for civil partnerships, this is not evidence that she had, at that time, changed her mind on equal gay rights more generally. For, only a year prior, in 2003, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the repeal of Section 28, and, earlier in 2004, she didn’t bother to turn up to vote for the Gender Recognition Bill. Moreover, as recently as 2007, she didn’t bother to turn up to support the Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations Bill. Furthermore, in 2008, when she was given a free vote by her leader, she voted against the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill, thereby denying, to those same couples she had previously agreed could be civilly partnered, any rights of access to fertility treatment.

Third, at a moment when LGBTQ Malawians face 14 years imprisonment, LGBTQ Ugandans face the death penalty, and a lesbian Iranian asylum-seeker is about to be deported from Britain to face torture, the public perception of the Minister for Equalities will make or break our ability to push for equal gay rights around the world. Indeed, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said as much to Eddie Mair on BBC Radio 4’s PM last Thursday: “if we are going to win over other countries to our own values, we have to increasingly inspire them with how we represent those values ourselves”.

Theresa May does not represent those values. She does not inspire them. Whenever the gauntlet of equal gay rights has been thrown down, Theresa May has invariably either run into hiding or paraded her homophobia. We need an inspirational champion of equal gay rights, not someone who begrudingly concedes them. Theresa May remains unfit for the role of Minister for Women and Equalities.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Sheryl Odlum

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  2. Hannah Mudge

    RT @libcon Outrage against Theresa May’s appointment grows http://bit.ly/dikkHC

  3. Stop the Right

    RT @Jon2aylor: An update, courtesy of LibCon, on our newly appointed homophobic equality minister Theresa May: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg #bbc …

  4. Niall Millar

    I'm outraged. RT: @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  5. Stephen Duffy

    Theresa May not related to Rita May who Bob Dylan sang about it seems http://twitpic.com/1nq9qj via http://bit.ly/9kxMlg @libcon

  6. thabet

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://ht.ly/1LcfP

  7. James Kirk

    Hello, I'm Theresa May… http://bit.ly/9kxMlg via@libcon

  8. Hayley Moseley

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  9. Rachel

    RT @libcon: Post now updated with Theresa May's voting record: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – using an image made by @RoryDoona

  10. Jamie Taylor

    This is typical please read http://bit.ly/a5URWa

  11. Jamie Taylor

    A potentially fractious split has already opened up between Cons and Libdems over the issue of equality.
    http://bit.ly/a5URWa

  12. Suave

    http://bit.ly/atnMiR Theresa May as equality minister? Fuck right off.

  13. USoB

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  14. Liberal Conspiracy

    Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  15. amol rajan

    somebody please show us her voting record on gay matters RT @libcon Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  16. sunny hundal

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  17. Milena Buyum

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – and rightly so!!

  18. Iain Aitch

    RT @sunny_hundal: RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  19. Rosanna

    RT @sunny_hundal: RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/9kxMlg

  20. Liberal Conspiracy

    Post now updated with Theresa May's voting record: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – using an image made by @RoryDoona

  21. Sheryl Odlum

    RT @libcon: Post now updated with Theresa May's voting record: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – using an image made by @RoryDoona

  22. Matt Genner

    RT @libcon: Post now updated with Theresa May's voting record: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – using an image made by @RoryDoona

  23. Jonathan Taylor

    An update, courtesy of LibCon, on our newly appointed homophobic equality minister Theresa May: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg #bbcqt #ConDemNation

  24. JWAngus

    RT @libcon: Post now updated with Theresa May's voting record: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg – using an image made by @RoryDoona

  25. Look Left – The Week in Fast Forward | Left Foot Forward

    […] An update, courtesy of LibCon, on our newly appointed homophobic equality minister Theresa May: http://bit.ly/9kxMlg #bbcqt […]

  26. Cracks, splits and fissures…. « Lespetroleuse

    […] Sunny Hundal at Liberal Conspiracy found the temptation impossible to resist when he led a piece on protests about Theresa May’s […]

  27. rachel ilil

    RT @libcon: Outrage against Theresa May's appointment grows http://bit.ly/azAIQw

  28. rachel ilil

    equality?! http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/14/outrage-against-theresa-mays-appointment-grows/

  29. Caz

    http://bit.ly/cl3LBw This is outrageous…

  30. Caz

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/05/14/outrage-against-theresa-mays-appointment-grows/ This is outrageous…

  31. Apel Mjausson

    And so it begins: the new UK equality minister is against equality for LGBT folks http://bit.ly/atnMiR

  32. Lib Dem supporters not happy.

    […] – however the appointment of Theresa May as Home Secretary seems to have caused great concern. Liberal Conspiracy Outrage against Theresa May’s appointment grows which will be heralded by many who post here. Reply With Quote   + […]

  33. Robert Massey

    Did 3/4 of the new cabinet really vote against the repeal of section 28? Not so liberal after all… http://bit.ly/atnMiR





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